Slate Islands Light
(Patterson Island Light)

A 36-foot tall octagonal tapering wooden tower built in 1903 on a 250-foot cliff on the southeast side of Sunday Point, on Patterson Island. Patterson is one of eight major islands that make up the Slate Islands group. The group is located at Lake Superior's widest point off Terrace Bay, Ontario.

From Wikipedia:
The Slate Islands archipelago is formed of two main islands, five minor islands and numerous islets located in northern Lake Superior, 10 km (6.2 mi) south of the town of Terrace Bay. The islands were created by a meteorite impact which formed a crater about 32 km (19.9 mi) wide. In 1985, the Ontario government established the Slate Islands as a natural environment provincial park. The islands are notable for having Ontario's largest herd of woodland caribou.

The total surface area is about 36 km˛. The nearby 'Leadman Group' of islands one km east is often considered part of the Slate Islands.

Human sites have been found on the islands dating to about 1000 A.D.

A lighthouse was built on Patterson Island, the largest island, in 1903 to help ships locate the harbour at the nearby town of Jackfish, Ontario. The island is named after William Patterson, a former lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan. Later, a fishing station was built on McColl Island.

The original forests on the islands were modified by logging and forest fires. Up until the 1940s, the islands were used to stockpile boomed logs from the mainland Lake Superior north shore for export on lake freighters to pulp mills in the United States.

In 1985, the Slate Islands were protected as an Ontario Natural Environment Provincial Park. There are no facilities and the islands can only be accessed via boat or airplane. The islands remoteness is enforced by almost 9 km of open, wild, Lake Superior water and its distance from any large communities. It is frequented by naturalists, fishing parties, sailors exploring this Great Lake, and recently by an increasing number of sea kayaking parties.

Click on images to enlarge

Photographs by Lisa Bryson
, whose father-in-law, Jack (John) Bryson, was the light house keeper here for 30 years - retiring in 1979.

2009 view by Laurie Comeau

Location: Offshore Terrace Bay, Ontario at Lake Superior's widest point
Date Built: 1903
Active: Yes. Automated in 1989.

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